Before you read this article, you need to know two things: 1) I love music and 2) I hate festivals.
Don't get me wrong, I am an avid concert attendee, but there's just something about large groups of people using a fixed amount of port-a-potty's that makes my skin crawl.
Now that you know my anxieties walking into the venue, you'll probably be surprised when I say that I absolutely loved Hangout Music Festival -public bathrooms and all. The party took place in Gulf Shores, Alabama and wow -was it beautiful. I was pleasantly surprised, considering my mental image of the state consists of Talladega Nights and road-side barbecue.
Unfortunately, we weren't able to wake up early enough for Medasin (I know, I cried) so we took our time checking out the various activities around the venue. There were multiple points for beach access, water stations, and various food vendors. It was a beach bum's wet dream, complete with a roller skating rink, slip-n-slide kickball, and hammocks -lots and lots of hammocks. A Ferris wheel stood in the middle of the venue, a beacon for the lost souls searching for groups that had forgotten them a set or two ago. It was packed with people, more than I had originally thought. Despite the crowd, the bathroom situation was clean, comprehensive and quick, so uncharacteristically, and I was cool, calm and collected. With my fears gone, I was ready to take on the day.
Besides the location, Hangout's wide variety of performers included in the lineup were insane. From big name artists like Cardi B and Khalid, to alternative bands like grandson and Sir Sly, there was a show for everyone and their mother to enjoy. As there was only one of me, and many artists, here are my top shows based on what I was able to attend:
The first show I attended was Hugel, a DJ with fun drops on very, very basic pop songs, though I found myself leaving quickly. My group migrated to the Mermaid Stage where the rapper Abhi the Nohmad was performing. His guitarist was amazing and later that night I downloaded a few of his songs on Spotify. I spent the rest of the day at the Boom Boom Tent waiting for Hippie Sabotage, a DJ duo I 've been following since my early EDM days. They were intense, complete with mosh pits and crowd surfing. Despite a few elbows to the face, I had a fantastic time. Diplo played next and he killed it, as a man who basically created EDM usually does. Tired of the wubs, my group decided to make our way to the Hangout Stage where Travis Scott was performing. Travis Scott quickly ran through 20 seconds of maybe 15 songs. He left his set 15 minutes early and I was completely underwhelmed, to say the least.
Pro tip: Make chairs with the sand on the beach (this is what building sand castles were training us for). We quickly made a sand bed towards the back of the crowd and watched the worst show of the day.
Pro tip: The shuttle bus passes were totally worth it. The bus service was extremely efficient as my stop was the second to last and it only took about 20 minutes to get to and from the festival.
All in all, it was an overall enjoyable experience. I came thinking about public restrooms and left knowing how to make a very comfortable sand bed. For those of you itching to pop the festival cherry, I recommend trying Hangout as a way to ease yourself into the scene.
Winner of the Day: Abhi the Nomad
The Loser of the Day: Travis Scott